Chinese netizens share their hopes while donating to children’s charity

By Ji Yuqiao Source:Global Times Published: 2020/7/2 19:48:40 Last Updated: 2020/7/2 17:48:40

A pupil student is enjoying his free lunch in Central China's Henan Province. Photo: VCG

 Over the past nine years, large number of Chinese netizens have gone to an online shop to donate money that goes to providing free lunches to children in need in China. Visitors to the shop on Chinese e-commerce platform Tmall often leave messages expressing their best wishes for the children and describing their own lives, turning it into a diary of sorts shared by all who have the need to express themselves.

The online shop is the official public welfare portal for the project Free Lunch to Children, which is run by the China Social Welfare Foundation. The project was originally established in April 2011, by Chinese journalist Deng Fei and 500 reporters with the help of dozens of news media outlets and the China Social Welfare Foundation to help provide children in poor areas in China with healthy and nutritious meals. 

The tree hole has become trending on Sina Weibo and a related hashtag has been viewed more than 12 million times as of Thursday.

More netizens were shown the way to the online shop and joined in donations. The number of donators increased about 2,000 from Wednesday to Thursday and the project got over 20,000 yuan one day.

The minimum donation is four yuan ($0.57), the average cost of a child's lunch in poorer rural areas. So far the shop has seen donations totaling 11 million yuan come in from more than 520,000 people in total. 

After reading some of the comments left by donors, some netizens has said they feel that the virtual space has become something like a temple or a church as they noticed that a few people prayed for good fortune after making donations.

"This is my 10th year donating to Free Lunch to Children. Although I live in Wuhan and we have been having a difficult time due to the pandemic, I will never forget you kids! I hope you can also study hard and eat well this year," said a comment from one donor. 

"I am working in a bank and am under a lot of stress every day, but I will try my best to live better. Kids, you should also work hard and meanwhile, enjoy yourself in life," wrote another.

"My baby is 6 months old! He is more and more adorable. When I see him, I often think of you. Did you have a delicious lunch today? Hope you and my baby can grow stronger and wiser day by day."

"Sorry for connecting charity donations with my personal wishes, but I hope my good deeds can decrease the troubles I will have in the future. I have been having difficult time these days. Also hope you can stay happy every day!"

These messages might never be seen by the children who will benefit from the donations, but netizens still want to leave comments urging on these children or sharing their experiences when donating. 

As to why so many people may be willing to share their lives on a public platform, a 26-year-old donator based in Beijing told the Global Times that the platform actually feels peaceful since everyone else is also praying for a better life as well as quite private and safe since no one knows who you are.

"Social media platforms Sina Weibo and WeChat are not safe places to share your true secrets since your real identity might be exposed, and your friends or relatives are watching and judging you. But on this platform, you are free," she said.

"The comment section of the shop is made up of people's kindness, and it is a rare sheltering bay for me."

Posted in: FOOD,WHAT’S ON

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